Roman History Essays

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Roman History Essays

Essay 1: Cataline Prominence

Cataline conspiracy was an attempt to overthrow the Roman Republic, especially the power of aristocratic Senate in Rome. After being defeated by Cicero in the consular election for 63 BC, Cataline defended the cause of the aristocrats and the Sullan veterans down on their luck. He also began to organize new and larger conspiracy. The conspiracy of Cataline is regarded as one of the most famous events of the Roman Republic turbulent in its final decades. The agenda of the conspirators is somewhat unclear, but the facts relating to the property damage, the assassination of public figures (especially Cicero), and the widespread debt relief, or cancellation of the debts, signify the conspiring elements in Cataline's rule. The episode is still famous for its literary posterity: Cicero has left four famous political speeches, the conspirators, and the Roman historian Sallust as also reported in one of his books, The Conspiracy of Cataline.

Sallust presents us with an idea of who were the principal conspirators of the conspiracy. Sallust believed that the conspirators were often from large families, having doubtful reputation. He adds, "A number of noble entailed by the hope of power rather than poverty or other needs." Crassus was then suspected of supporting the conspiracy behind the scenes (Mellor 2004). Sallust believes that the conspiracy was the product of Cataline.

The time of the conspiracy seems appropriate: the country was quiet and peaceful, and did not seem to be wary of anything, and Pompey was absent from Rome, fighting on the other end of the world. Moreover, before the showdown, Cataline was trying to be respectful of laws and attempts to seize power. It also seems that Catalina enjoyed some sympathy among the populace, seeing its company quite favorably. It promised a reward of 200,000 sesterces for a free man, or the emancipation and 100,000 sesterces for a slave to anyone who can reveal the details of the plot, and strengthen the guard posts at the entrance to the City (Ward 2009). However, rumors related to the revelation of the plot are very concerned about the opinion. Cataline was interrupted three times by the forces. However, he tried to defend himself by challenging the social background of Cicero in "a citizens meeting," the agenda of which contrasted the antiquity and nobility of his family (Mellor 2004). Aware of the precariousness of his situation, Cataline left Rome that night and joined the camp of Manlius, where he tried to speed up operations. He also tried to reassure the populations.

The case of the Allobroges shows that Cataline had allies in Rome itself. Gallic delegates indeed came to Rome to complain about economic conditions in their province and the greed of their rulers. They even required a letter of intent signed by the conspirators without falling into the trap. Five conspirators, Statilius, Ceparius, Aulus Gabinius, Cethegus and Publius Cornelius Lentulus Sura, were then arrested, and appeared before the Senate (Kelly 2007). The end of the conspiracy occurred rapidly after the trial, ...
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